10 Best Things To Do in Abingdon Va in 72 Hours
Abingdon, Virginia oozes Southern charm. It’s quaint, historic, and has an artsy vibe. The other thing I love about this adorable town is it has NO chain restaurants. All are mom & pop establishments. It was even voted as the Best Small Town Food Scene by USA Today. You can easily make a long weekend with all it has to offer. Find out my top 10 things to do in Abingdon, Va on your next small town getaway.
In This Guide
- 01- Bike the Virginia Creeper Trail
- 02- Enjoy a show at the Barter Theater
- 03- Do your own food tour
- 04- Have a cocktail at the oldest bar in Virginia
- 05- Gotta check out Abingdon’s Farmer’s Market
- 06- Hike with wild ponies
- 07- Hike to a sandstone slot canyon
- 08- Enjoy wine & live music at Abingdon Vineyards
- 09- Try ultra-premium olive oil at Abingdon Olive Oil Company
- 10- Check out LOVEwork signs
- Where to stay in Abingdon
- Final thoughts
Bike the Virginia Creeper Trail
Biking the Virginia Creeper Trail from Whitetop to Abingdon, Va
Hands down, biking the Virginia Creeper Trail is considered the #1 thing to do in Abingdon. DO NOT MISS IT.
This premium rail trail runs 34 miles from Whitetop, Va down to Abingdon. The first 17 miles are downhill, so even grandma can do it! It is incredibly scenic and will take you across rolling farmlands, through dense forests, next to cold mountain creeks, and past quaint towns.
There are many bike rental shops to choose from that will shuttle you to the start of the trail. Check out my guide below for all the details.
Enjoy a Show at the Barter Theater
Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Va
I am not much of an artsy person, but people really seem to love the performances held at the Barter Theater given the many positive reviews.
The history of the establishment is quite interesting. It was started in 1933 during the Great Depression. No one could afford tickets. Robert Porterfield, the founder of the theatre, allowed people to barter their way in by paying with food.
Cost of that first ticket? 30 cents or the equivalent in goods. Current shows can be found here.
Do Your Own Food Tour
The Girl & The Raven Cafe in Abingdon, Virginia
This is definitely one of the best things to do in Abingdon Va. No chain restaurants here. Expect local mom & pop restaurants, all offering up some delicious food choices. I will go through our top picks you must check out on your weekend getaway.
THE GIRL & THE RAVEN
I am in love with this little Abingdon gem. If I could only go back to one restaurant, this would be it!
The cafe serves up some serious coffee and also makes a fantastic matcha latte. I love green tea in all forms.
Matcha latte at The Girl & The Raven
Also, do yourself a favor, and order the Big Pimp breakfast sandwich. Made of a homemade flaky biscuit, egg, and pimento cheese, this simple sandwich is to die for. I have a love affair with pimento cheese. I didn’t appreciate it growing up, but now I crave it. Even 3-star Michelin The Inn at Little Washington Restaurant is serving this star ingredient. When we went, the Amuse-Bouche was a rolled potato chip filled with pimento cheese and chives.
The Big Pimp Egg Breakfast Sandwich with Pimento Cheese
Pair your sandwich with a freshly made rosemary scone if they are available. Ah, so good. This is a great way to fuel the rest of your day doing any outdoor activities.
Rosemary scone at The Girl & The Raven
The Girl & The Raven also offers drive-thru service! This is great for times when you are driving out for a hike or before starting the Virginia Creeper Trail. We picked up a tomato, spinach, and cheese quiche and a savory ham croissant before one of our hikes. As you can see, we ate here a lot! No wrong choices here.
They are closed on Sundays, so plan accordingly.
This very friendly restaurant is another local favorite. 128 Pecan serves up some great Southern classics. Try the delicious fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese. The chili rubbed salmon with cheddar grits is another incredibly flavorful dish.
Fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese at 128 Pecan
Chili rubbed salmon with cheddar grits at 128 Pecan
GREEKO’S GRILL & CAFE
If you love Greek food, head over to Greeko’s Grill & Cafe. Order the lamb gyro, and enjoy the perfectly seasoned lamb on warm pita bread. For a healthier option, they offer great fresh salads.
Lamb gyro at Greeko’s Grill & Cafe
Spinach cranberry salad at Greeko’s Grill & Cafe
If you want to get a health boost, enjoy a fresh cold-pressed raw juice from White Birch. I had the ImmuniTea, which had Echinacea tea, honey, lemon ginger, agave, and elderberry.
Cold-pressed ImmuniTea from White Birch
White Birch also offers smoothies and cocktails and a good selection of breakfast and lunch items.
Inside White Birch
I love savory items, but I definitely have a sweet tooth and am picky where I spend those calories. This bakery is definitely worth a stop. Anthony’s offers an ever-changing selection of freshly made desserts, ice creams, and hand-roasted coffees.
We tried the eclair, chocolate mocha (dark chocolate, espresso pan cotta, mascarpone cream, and chocolate almond crunch), and key lime pie. I’m not a huge key lime pie fan, but this dessert by far was my favorite.
Eclair, chocolate mocha, and key lime pie from Anthony’s Desserts in Abingdon
HARVEST TABLE RESTAURANT
Ok, this little gem is not in Abingdon, but it’s only 10 minutes outside of town. This farm-to-table restaurant uses the produce from their own farm and meats and vegetables from the surrounding farms.
Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview, Virginia
I highly recommend the pimento cheese bacon sandwich. We picked up a few of these delicious sandwiches to enjoy on our hike to Mount Rogers.
Enjoying a pimento cheese bacon sandwich at the summit of Mount Rogers
Have a Cocktail at the Oldest Bar in Virginia
The Tavern at Abingdon, Virginia
Established in 1779, The Tavern is the oldest bar in Virginia and one of the oldest in the United States! It has hosted very distinguished guests such as Pierre Charles L’Enfant, designer of Washington D.C., and Louis Philippe, King of France.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to sip on a cocktail here because we got their hours mixed up. Next time we would love to check it out and sit out back on their beautiful patio.
Gotta Check Out Abingdon's Farmer's Market
Abingdon Farmer’s Market
If you are there on a Tuesday or Saturday, swing by the Farmer’s Market in the market pavilion on Remsburg Drive. This is where all the local farmers and artisans come together to sell their products.
There are a lot of great baked goods to choose from. We can personally vouch for the delicious blueberry scone.
Blueberry scone at Abingdon Farmer’s Market
Wild Pony Hike at Grayson Highlands State Park
Friendly wild pony at Grayson Highlands State Park
Wild ponies?!? Yep.
Drive 1 hour from Abingdon to Grayson Highlands State Park as your starting point. We hiked 10.5 miles to Mount Rogers, the highest summit in Virginia.
Now you do not have to do the entire hike to see the wild ponies. You will likely see them at several different points during your hike. It is pretty incredible to be hiking on the Appalachian Trail right next to a wild pony.
They are not shy and will come right up to you. Although it is tempting, no feeding or petting though.
If you want to know more, check out my hiking guide below.
Hiking with wild ponies on the Appalachian Trail
Hike to a Sandstone Slot Canyon
Great Channels of Virginia
Yes, this does exist in Virginia, and is one of the state’s best kept secrets! It’s called the Great Channels and requires a 6.6-mile hike.
Walk through the moss-covered channels and crevices and over large tree roots. This is one of the most unique hikes we have done in Virginia. If you time it right, you may have it all to yourself. Read more about this cool hike below.
Enjoy Wine & Live Music at Abingdon Vineyards
We stayed at an adorable Vrbo rental at Old Alvarado Station right off the Virginia Creeper Trail. Abingdon Vineyards was a short 2-minute drive from our Airbnb.
They have a large outdoor space sprinkled with picnic tables right beside by the river. You can bring your own food when you purchase wine. A lot of times they will have food trucks available when you get the munchies.
The night we were going to check it out, they were packed and there was literally no parking. Oh well, next time.
Try Premium Olive Oil at Abingdon Olive Oil Co.
Abingdon Olive Oil Company
This is not your average grocery store olive oil. The Abingdon Olive Oil Company carries certified Ultra Premium extra virgin olive oil, which is the highest quality standard. The oils come from all over the world including Greece, Spain, France, etc.
They also sell fused and infused oils. Although we did not have a chance to check out their shop, I was able to sample their blood orange-infused olive oil and cranberry pear balsamic vinegar at Greeko’s. When you order the spinach cranberry salad, those are the dressings that are provided.
Check Out the LOVEwork Signs
LOVEworks sign in Abingdon, Virginia
Most people are familiar with the iconic slogan, Virginia is for Lovers. To help promote that slogan and Virginia travel, the state set up a branding initiative called the LOVEworks program. You can find the 275+ LOVEwork signs proudly displayed all around the state in historical areas and small towns.
One of those community signs is located across from the Barter Theatre. A second location is near the start of the Virginia Creeper Trail.
LOVEworks sign on telephone booth in Abingdon
Where to Stay in Abingdon
OLD ALVARADO STATION
Of course, we are going to be biased, but we loved our Vrbo rental. It is located at Old Alvarado Station right off the Virginia Creeper Trail. The owners renovated the old building into a stylish farmhouse chic rental.
Renovated Airbnb at Old Alvarado Station
We loved that it was located right across the river, where you can bring a cup of coffee (or wine) to sit on the swing and relax.
Relaxing by the river at Old Alvarado Station
The only downside is it’s not located right in historic Abingdon, so you will have to drive about 18 minutes to get to the restaurants.
MARTHA WASHINGTON INN & SPA
We met a lot of other tourists who were staying at this beautiful historic hotel. The Martha Washington Inn & Spa has changed identities over the years and was once a private residence and a women’s college. The decor and vibe would be best described as stately and elegant.
A TAILOR’S LODGING
A Tailor’s Lodging is a great option if you want to stay right in the town of Abingdon. The original owners were tailors (surprise!). With only three bedrooms, they book up quickly!
I had never heard of Abingdon, Virginia prior to planning this trip. And I even grew up in Virginia and have planned quite a few Virginia getaways! This small foodie town pleasantly surprised us. It has a lot to offer including beautiful hikes, great biking trails, and amazing mom & pop restaurants. You will have no trouble finding plenty of things to do in Abingdon Va. Put it on your list for your next small-town getaway!
Questions about our favorite things to do in Abingdon Va?
Let me know in the comments below!